RNW Press Review, Wednesday 11 June 2008
Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.11 June 2008
Wilders disregards Jordanian law
The leader of the populist Freedom Party Geert Wilders says he is not worried about a suit filed against him on Tuesday in a Jordanian court.
A Campaign for the Prophet group, which includes Jordanian MPs and media outlets, says his film Fitna is in violation of publishing laws which ban insults against religion and attacks against Islam and the prophets.
De Telegraaf quotes Wilders as saying: "It's ridiculous. Let them do whatever they like. I don't have to adhere to Jordanian law, but to Dutch law." He said the campaign is a political game played "by the wrong kind of group in the wrong kind of country".
The Campaign for the Prophet has also launched a media campaign calling for a boycott of Dutch products. The group had given shopkeepers until 10 June to remove their stockpiles of Dutch goods from the shelves.
Infectious Orange fever leads to high absenteeism
Many companies were plagued by high absenteeism the day after the Dutch national team played in the European Championships.
The newspaper AD says this was no exception since many employees are known to be "structurally absent" on days which precede or follow holidays.
The paper reports around 40 companies have hired two cooperating private detective agencies, Q2A and DB2 to spy on employees who have a history of “strategic illness”.
On Tuesday morning, the telephone rang at a medium-sized transport concern in Utrecht. “I'm sick,” is the message that the employee gives.
A while later, the employer calls Q2A and DB2 detective agencies and ask that they look into the sick employee.
Private investigators 'The Beaver' and 'De Brunt' study the person's description. After calling to make sure he is at home, they park outside his house and wait.
Later, 'the subject' leaves the house and The Beaver and De Brunt, armed with binoculars, follow the man into town. Amidst the orange flags fluttering on a terrace he can be seen ordering a toasted sandwich and a cup of coffee. The Beaver and De Brunt make photographs.
The sick employee is later photographed taking a nap under a tree. In the afternoon, he purchases a can of paint at a hardware store. Detective agency Q2A says it is satisfied with the results of the investigation. "'The subject' has been caught red-handed."
Supermarkets not promoting enough healthy products
The country's largest consumer organisation – the Consumentenbond - says supermarkets have failed to keep their promise to promote healthy products. The organisation says that "Two and a half years of self-regulation have not produced sufficient results".
Trouw writes that the Consumentenbond is calling on the government to take "strong measures" in the fight against obesity. According to a survey, unhealthy products take up more room on supermarket shelves and fewer healthy products are being sold at a discount than in 2006.
The consumer organisation has also made an urgent appeal to supermarkets to stop putting sweets at 'child height' and near cash registers.
Aruba seeks Netherlands' help in retaining highly-educated
De Volkskrant reports that bailiffs on the Caribbean island of Aruba confiscate the property of between 20 and 25 Arubans weekly because they cannot pay their student loans.
Aruba is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The exchange rate for the Aruban florin, which is pegged to the declining dollar, has risen from 1.60 to EUR 1 in 2001 to 2.75 florins today, making it impossible to repay student loans on an average salary.
De Volkskrant writes that the Aruban People's Party has sent an urgent message to Dutch Education Minister Ronald Plasterk asking that he think of a solution before another 300 Arubans leave in August to study at Dutch universities.
Since it is impossible to repay the loans on an Aruban salary, "graduates are more or less forced to find a job in the Netherlands". This means that Aruba will lose more highly-educated people.
Court upholds fine of driver who held traffic for a cat
An appeals court has upheld the fine of a driver who waited for a cat to cross the street in the town of Schiedam.
AD writes that on the afternoon of 7 January, Cees Schuurmans waited for a cat to cross the street at a traffic junction despite the light turning green. He was fined EUR 75 for holding up traffic.
Schuurmans says angrily: "When the light switched to green, I should have just ran over the cat."
The court investigated the matter and decided to uphold the fine. The police officer said he had not seen a cat. Schuurmans says he will make another appeal.
[Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica]
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